Posts tagged with: Career Advice

How to suck up to your boss

This is a good time to impress your boss. I know a lot of you don’t enjoy sucking up to the folks in charge. But if you’re not going to do it when unemployment levels are soaring, when are you going to do it?

Here, then, are some sucking-up tips I’ve observed from my once-a-week forays into the offices of the publishing company for which I work.

1. If you’re going to play one of those free games that come with your computer while on company time, go with solitaire. It looks more “heady” than getting caught playing mine sweeper.

2. I know it’s sometimes hard to continually pay attention when your boss is throwing at you his 15th idea this week for surviving the recession. But don’t fall asleep. And if you do, try not to fall out of your chair.

3. My company has a section in their employee handbook that forbids workers from eating in the company bathrooms. I know it’s tempting, but don’t eat that hoagie in the fourth-floor restroom.

4. Bosses like friendly employees. When you’re cussing out a co-worker, make sure to smile.

5. Finally, if you thought the doughnut you were grabbing at the breakfast meeting was filled with custard, try not to spit it back in the box when you discover it’s lemon-filled instead.

Don’t rely on TV news for career help

Everyone wants to help job hunters find their ideal new position. At least it seems that way.

Problem is, most of the help being sent towad job seekers isn’t too useful. At least not when it’s coming from the TV media.

Newspapers are different. They can devote a lot of space to providing career information to their readers. But TV news? It’s short-attention span time with them, even on their Web sites.

Here’s an example: The Web site of WRBL News 3 has this short story on what you should do if you need to switch careers. The story includes a link to a pretty good site, Career Voyages, a site that I highlighted recently on this blog. That’s fine. What isn’t fine, though, are the first few statements by the author, Jennifer Serda. She recommends that job hunters first do a self-assessment of themselves, and presents links to two online sites that will perform this assessment for free.

I’m sorry, but this whole self-assessment thing sounds like corporate, human-resources speak to me. And I don’t think there’s a Web site out there that can really tell you what you want in a career. Is knowing that you’re a person who thrives on organization really going to help you determine your next career? Does having an online self-assessment test tell you that you’re creative going to do anything to help you find your next job?

No. You know who you are already, you don’t need to take a self-assessment test to find out. You also know the career you want. It’s up to you to go get it and not waste time assessing your self.

Some job interview mistakes that can cost you dearly

This would be funny if it wasn’t true: A growing number of candidates, once they receive a job interview, spend an inordinate amount of time during these interviews complaining about the financial hardships they’ve suffered because they’ve lost their jobs.

Look, we all know that it’s awful to be without a job. I don’t know anyone who’s done that whole “make sure you have enough savings to cover at least six months without work” thing. (Who can save that much money today?) But a job interview is not the time to confess that you’ve been eating noodles for breakfast.

A story in the Wall Street Journal points to this, and several other job interview flubs, that are keeping the unemployed, well, unemployed. These screw-ups are especially bad today when job interviews are few and far between.

Another mistake candidates are making, according to the Wall Street Journal story? Many are showing up to interviews up to an hour early. What better way to say that you have nothing better to do?

Read the whole Journal story. As usual with the Journal, the advice and anecdotes are right on. If you are fortunate enough to nab an interview in today’s dismal job market, don’t blow it by looking too desperate.